A is for All Fall Down

Every day (for the next 26 days) I’ll feature a 200 Word RPG along with some musings and comments. View the whole alphabet here.

Today we’re looking at All Fall Down by Ryan Ó Laoithe from the 2015 challenge.

I know. Picking a winner to start off feels like cheating, but this game still sticks in my mind years later.What first struck me was the candles. Taking the time (and words) to talk about setting the mood with candles is gutsy. It must have been tempting to cut that out, but the game is much better for it.

Matches are such an ingenious idea to build a mechanic around. Not many common household objects have one use, but matches make perfect sense. Ryan doesn’t need to explain “only use once and then mark differently”, it’s use is understood.

In fact, taking advantage of existing player knowledge is important to all games, but crucial to 200 Word RPGs because of their limited wordcount.

Finally, the game naturally follows the story arc of a survival story. Players start with promise and supplies but slowly run down to nothing. Curtain Falls. Flames die. Smoke rises.

The tone, mechanics, and materials are just perfect. Well done, Ryan!